• Cheung, Cecilia (PI)
  • Power, Gordon (PI)
  • Gilbert, Raymond (PI)
  • Brace, Robert (PI)
  • Longo, Lawrence (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


We propose to understand the dynamics and control of the exchange of oxygen
across the placenta, and its transport to the fetal tissues. This includes
studies of the critical amount of placental diffusion required to maintain
normal levels of oxygen in fetal blood, and in turn the relation of placental
diffusing capacity to placental exchange area. We also will examine the effects
of prolonged maternal hypoxia on maternal functions such as cardiac output,
utero-placental blood flow and blood volume, and on placental diffusing
capacity, as well as fetal functions such as weight, concentrations of several
neurotransmitters, enzymes, and hormones. In addition, we will examine the
factors which mediate these effects. We also are developing a mathematical
model of the fetal circulation and oxygen delivery system, which embodies
multiple large subsystems such as the kidney and regulation of body fluids, and
the baroreceptor and chemoreceptor systems. This model is proving useful for
predicting cardiovascular responses to stress as well as suggesting experiments
to test the predictions. We also will explore both the short-term control of
fetal blood pressure, blood volume, heart rate, and blood flow to several fetal
organs, particularly the brain, heart, and adrenal glands. We also will examine
the role of various substances such as the catecholamines, vasoactive peptides,
the respiratory gases, other metabolites, and tissue factors in the regulation
of blood flow to peripheral vascular beds in the fetus. In addition, we will
examine the role of prolactin in affecting transplacental fluxes of water and
several solutes, as well as explore prolactin's role in homeostasis of fetal
fluid and blood volumes. Finally, we will investigate the relative role of
concentrations of arterial O2, CO2, hydrogen ion, and arterial blood pressure in
the control of blood flow to the fetal brain. Overall, these studies will lead
to greater understanding of the control of the fetal cardiovascular oxygen
delivery system.
Effective start/end date3/1/806/30/85


  • National Institutes of Health


  • Medicine(all)


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